What you might have missed

The likely homeland of modern humans, decoding abstract thoughts, and humanoid robots – here are some highlights from a week in science. 

How does he do it? It turns out that artist Jackson Pollock was a master of fluid dynamics. Read the full story here


Here's a snapshot of a few stories we particularly enjoyed. Click on the links to read them in full. You can also see all the week's yarns here.

Thought decoding in the abstract

Researchers have deciphered the abstract concepts people are thinking about – for example justice, truth and forgiveness – merely by analysing their brain scans.

Read the full story here.

Likely human homeland identified

A vast inland oasis in present-day northern Botswana was once home to the founder population of all modern humans, according to a genetic analysis of modern-day Africans.

Read the full story here.

Robot, do what I do

US-based engineers Joao Ramos, from the University of Illinois, and Sangbae Kim, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have created a new teleoperation (remote control) system that more seamlessly transfers the movement of a human operator to a two-legged robot.

Read the full story here.

An opponent on the rise can mess with your head

A study of more than 117,000 professional tennis matches and five million observations in online amateur chess shows that even when competitors are evenly matched, players perform worse against an opponent they know has been climbing in rank.

Read the full story here.

Is this the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System?

Astronomers have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet, which would make it the smallest in the Solar System – dethroning Ceres.

Read the full story here.

I know you're counting, not just talking

Babies can’t say the words “one”, “two” and “three”, but they probably know that they refer to quantities, US research suggests.

Read the full story here.

And here's our image of the week

NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and M. Durbin (University of Washington)

Astronomers see many things when they stare into deep space, but this is not – despite appearances – an otherworldly creature with a piercing gaze. Read the full story here.

To view all this week's featured images, click here.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/thought-decoding-in-the-abstract
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/likely-human-homeland-identified
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robot-do-what-i-do
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/an-opponent-on-the-rise-can-mess-with-your-head
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/is-this-the-smallest-dwarf-planet-in-the-solar-system
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/i-know-you-re-counting-not-just-talking
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/look-into-my-eyes
  9. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
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